As Ole Gunnar Solskjaer praises Donny van de Beek, former Man United star questions contract negotiations

Rio Ferdinand has this weekend called into question the contract negotiations which eventually led to Donny van de Beek joining Manchester United.

As Ole Gunnar Solskjaer praises Donny van de Beek, former Man United star questions contract negotiations

VDB struggling

The name of Dutch midfielder van de Beek has of course taken centre stage at Old Trafford over the first-half of the campaign.

Unfortunately for the 23-year-old, however, this has not always come for the right reasons.

Instead, chatter, amongst fans and pundits alike, has largely centered on van de Beek’s struggles for game-time.

The gifted midfielder made the big-money move to United during the summer, and was expected to quickly establish himself as a regular in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s ranks in the middle of the park.

To this point, however, this has proven far from the case.

Instead, van de Beek has often been confined to substitute cameos. In fact, across his new side’s opening 16 Premier League fixtures of the campaign, the former Ajax man has been introduced off the bench on 8 occasions, to go along with just two starts.

As Ole Gunnar Solskjaer praises Donny van de Beek, former Man United star questions contract negotiations

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 12: Donny van de Beek of Manchester United in action during a pre-season friendly match between Aston Villa and Manchester United at Villa Park on September 12, 2020 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

‘What was the conversation?’

Van de Beek was handed a rare chance to impress from the off on Saturday, when Manchester United welcomed Watford to Old Trafford, for an FA Cup 3rd-round clash.

And, to his credit, the Dutchman went on to shine, amid a trademark all-action display.

In turn, on the back of his side booking their spot in the competition’s last-32, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was quick to heap praise on his out-of-favour midfield star, highlighting van de Beek’s ‘qualities’:

‘I think Donny showed again his qualities. He is very technically clean, makes good decisions.’

‘What a little flick to play Juan through in the first half. He has that quality to open up tight games so definitely he will benefit from this game as well.’

As outlined above, however, whilst Solskjaer was keen to focus on the positives post-Watford, another individual long associated with the Red Devils was instead quick to call into question the entire process which led to VDB’s Old Trafford switch coming to fruition.

Speaking as part of his role as a pundit on BT Sport, Rio Ferdinand was asked for his take on van de Beek’s struggles for playing time.

And, after first revealing his ‘surprise’ at the situation, former United stopper Ferdinand then went on to ponder what exactly the struggling 23-year-old was promised regarding minutes on the pitch during negotiations with the Reds during the summer:

‘I’m really surprised he’s not played more minutes. ‘I’m 100% certain that he expected to play more.’

‘The interesting point with the whole van de Beek situation is, what was the conversation in negotiations coming here?’

‘When you negotiate a contract to go somewhere, you come into the football club knowing where you are, if you’re going to start, or are they going to have to work their way into the team.’

‘That’s the important part and we don’t know the answer yet. I’m sure from the soundings that his agent has been given off, he expected to be playing games and be a major part of this team.’

‘It hasn’t materialised so far, and he’s got a Euros to worry about if that goes ahead.’

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This article was edited by Josh Barker.

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